Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid received a two-game suspension for a hit to the head on New York Islanders defenceman Nick Leddy Thursday.
Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images
Unsurprisingly, Edmonton Oilers fans headed to Rogers Place for the tilt against the Anaheim Ducks Saturday night were not pleased their captain wouldn’t be on the ice — and they were eager to talk about it.Connor McDavid was issued a two-game suspension Friday from the NHL for a first period hit to the head on New York Islanders defenceman Nick Leddy. The Oilers won the home game 4-3 in overtime, with McDavid netting the game-winner.McDavid received a two-minute minor penalty for the hit, but it resulted in a two-game suspension following further review and a phone hearing.“It was to the head, but I don’t think it was intentional so a fine would have done good enough to take care of the matter,” fan Craig Leverton said on the hit, who was attending the game with 24 family members visiting from Saskatchewan. “It would have been fun to watch him.”It wasn’t the first Oilers game for Leverton, but it was for his five-year-old son Ford who was looking forward to see McDavid live in action after watching him closely on TV.
Craig Leverton, second from right, and his family are visiting from Saskatchewan to attend the Oilers game Saturday night.
It was a similar reaction for seven-year-old Colin Kundert, still donning his #97 McDavid jersey, attending his first regular-season game and eager to see the captain play.“I’m really disappointed for my son,” Colin’s mom Kate Faught said. “It’s a big treat to go to a game and we don’t go very often.”
Kate Faught and her seven-year-old son Colin Kundert before the Oilers game Saturday night. They were disappointed McDavid wouldn’t be playing and think the two-game suspension was harsh.
On the hit in question, Faught said the suspension seemed severe given it was McDavid’s first major offence.“I did not think it was worth a two-game suspension especially given how he’s mauled constantly himself,” she said.But some fans, also still wearing McDavid jerseys, thought it was the right call.“I think if that had happened to him, we’d be crying foul and you got to treat other players the same,” said Nima Maham who was at the game Thursday. “The NHL’s really got to give every player the same standard. I’m not happy about it, but if he goes hitting people and there’s no penalty, it’s open season.”
Nima Maham, right, and his friends were at the Oilers game Thursday night. They believe the suspension was justified because all players need to be held to the same standard.
McDavid has 48 hours to appeal the suspension, but has yet to make a decision on whether he will. The second game of the suspension would be Monday when the Oilers are in Nashville.email@example.com/dustin_cook3